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Jerry Delony

Your Invitation to an Exciting New Slant on Acting
by Jerry Delony

September 2000

YOUR INVITATION TO AN EXCITING NEW SLANT ON ACTING

A Pseudo-Docu-Dramady Interview of Mrs. O'Reilly,
Grandmother of the Nobel Prize Winner in Art
With Just a Wee Touch of Seriousness

By JERRY DELONY

 

(There's so much confusion today, everyone running to and fro trying to keep up with the Joneses, make a few extra bucks and put some away for that trip to Paris. It seems that it's a far off dream or song I remember about "being in the flow". So I'm not too upset about the mixup at the radio station. I went there with my good friend, Mrs. Maggie O' Reilly. Both of us were to be on different programs on different days. But I guess the program director got the idea we were talking about the same thing, and so he spliced both of us together. I can see the humour in that, I hope you can too. And along with a grain of salt, you'll get a teaspoon of sugar that will help the serious side go down a little easier, and maybe it'll make the funny side worth more than a feather and a fig.)

 

Well now,Mrs. O'Reilly I know this interview is on short notice because your 13 year old grandson won the Nobel Prize in the Arts just a few minutes ago and we were not able to catch up with his mom & dad who took him to the new science pavilion in the new Disneyland being built on top of the world's highest and most beautiful waterfall in the middle of Africa; come to think of it what will they put there in place of the African Adventure Rides?...maybe a replica of Scorsese's movie "Mean Streets" or maybe a retro-ride "The Blackboard Jungle"? ..Ha ha get it? Well since we can't talk directly to your Grandson we hope you will let us get a few words from someone next to the horse's mouth...O.K.? Get on with it, we're losing daylight and burning audio tape!

Yes mam. I suppose you know he won the Nobel Prize for creating the software for the first ever Robot that will mimic completely a waitress taking an order from a person and then giving it to the customer all with the same natural tones of a real cafe waitress...it's a real breakthrough.

"Breakthrough snakethrough" all he did was record and mimic his aunt Gertrude down at "Buddy's Bar where she's been a waitress for 13 years! I see, but the facial expressions you have to admit are.. He used his digital Videocam and softwired it to a former failure in artificial intelligence programs at MIT he had downloaded for free off of the Net so what's the big deal? Oh..really: you seem to know a lot about ...

Planetary Science,Art,Literature,History, Government, Horticulture, Exobiology, Genetic Archeology, and Middle Eastern Conflict Resolution..Yes I do. I can facilitate getting you a grant to do research on anything from the Hubble Telescope's mirror glitch and why it happened to how many Genes are dysfunctional in pale purple peas in the state of Georgia and why! where did you think the kid got his smarts from anyway!

Wow ! this just might furn into a good deal more than a routine follow up to a Nobel Prize it might... Turn into a Universal story of hidden heredity in genius that could become the basis of a Documentary you would be in charge of and if the ratings got a six market share in a fair mid-placement could be stretched to a series based loosely on a cross between The Whiz Kids,"The Waltons" with just a touch of "Granny" from "The Beverly Hillbillies"?

Well ..Golly gosh, that's pretty much it..Yesumm! Then what's your first question "Pale Rider" Why did you say that? First thing that came to me. What is your name anyway?

My name's Orville...Orville Kickenboxer! OH Kaaay! Mind if I just call you Clint? Not at all if it makes you feel better. It's just a little acting exercise to help me stay with you easier. Right! whatever. So fire away,Clint...(Fade out to second program)


Hi, I'm Jerry Delony and I have been asked to give a very special class or series on Acting and it will begin with a free introduction evening I am going to call "The Gathering" giving a tip of the hat to that mystical gathering of the clan of very special people called The Immortals for in truth The Artists are the immortals of every age especially now; because we leave our mark not only on the sands of time but on Film, Audio cassette, Video tape CDs and someday soon on crystal lattices the size of a diamond our whole history may be documented and packaged for all to see and judge.

It will be held from 6 to 8 P.M at a date and location yet to be determined in late September.

I would first like to tell you what one Great Educator said at a recent conference on the Eve of this New Millennium. It was in Boulder Colorado at "The Spirit in Education " Conference. The Naropa Institute was hosting the event and the keynote speaker was Parker Palmer a tall intent, author of several books on Education & Spirit. He is on staff at Pendle Hill Teaching Univ. In Penn. and holder of the Wisdom Chair award for excellence in teaching He began by saying:

what education requires is a transformative way of being in the world, One infused with soul, not with new techniques. He immediately had my attention, then he said something that I thought particularly applied to actors. "The Soul is an exceedingly shy, wild animal and we as teachers are here to coax its' Life giving forces into an enterprise that is too often death dealing!"

  • Under Uta Hagen's encouragement I was led to have a greater "Respect for Acting" and I knew she would agree with him as he continued "If education is dull it is because we have driven a sense of the sacred out of our learning, teaching and knowing. But, the Sacred is wherever there is something worthy of respect, it is everywhere' I knew that was certainly true in my life for even when we feel anger, or jealousy, if we reach down deep to grant respect to the other person as a Being just as you are then something wonderful can happen, the Unexpected can move in. Parker continued: "Universities, unfortunately,only grant respect to text and competition. There is no respect for Silence or Wonder and I think that is because the academic culture is one of fear--fear of what might change or challenge us." I think I always knew this but when He said it so plainly (amid cheers) I realized that neither can our institutions raise these qualities from the dust nor can we expect our formalized dogmatized Religions to do it and It is certain we will not receive a revelation, of this sort, from our corporations or our Governments. These are things we ourselves as Artists or whatever walk of life we are in are called to carry by the urging of our own hearts both towards individual integrity and by proclaiming it together with others for all to hear and see. How are we to do this? I believe by first confronting our own pain as artists--the pain of separation and isolation that we have. Secondly acknowledge it and finally take steps to transform that discomforting ache into something better, that is certainly what Brad Koester has almost single handedly done by providing this wonderful Web Site that allows all of us actor/writer/performer/director types to buzz around and when we're ready light for a moment on a flower to get a little nourishment/commiseration/acknowledgment even admiration for a while. Sometimes we contribute a little ditty we thought up that tells a story and gives a glimpse of where our individual lives are at. Now I'm suggesting that we might by a collective creative act, process the pain into "something wonderful."

    On this recent Holiday weekend I went to see a film at the Arbor "Butterfly" it was a fascinating glimpse back in time to a little town in Spain during the twisted political upheaval and rising of facist power. The people had to come to grips with what their beliefs were worth and what they would be willing to die for. Most it turned out preferred to do a turn around and lie to save themselves. But one of the older teachers had always been outspoken for the rights of individuals and the freedom of the human mind so he was rounded up and taken away to be disposed of . The point is anyone who stands up for freedom of the soul is automatically an enemy of the state. So I will be teaching for a limited engagement at this theatre near you. Here are a few highlights.

  • It will be a powerful experience in rediscovering your energy as an Actor and anchoring it so you will never have to feel ashamed of telling anyone what you are and what you do again!

  • We will explore the source of that radiant energy and transcendent power and how it can boost your performances into a whole other level!

  • We will also have a truly unusual group dynamic occur as we begin to apply a much larger scope to our Scene Work.

  • We will be building toward our own showcase performance that will be done Live before an invited and supportive audience of helpful industry related people as well as friends.

  • Members of this class will have opportunity to be guests on the taped talk show "The Round Table Excalibur".

  • Performances and excerpts from these shows may be included when we begin using the Internet to carry on artistic conversations one on one with other like minded grass roots groups of actors in other cities (we will begin with Nashville, New Orleans, and Seattle....and that's just the beginning.....(Fade out and fade in to interview with Mrs. O'Reilly)

 

Why don't you just take a stab at it and -in your own words-tell us what you think the Arts and the Artists of today ...Need!

Well allright sonny, It's basically like living on a locomotive wheel one half is called the real world with all of its "supposed to's" and "Don't you ever's" the second half is called "what you came here to do's" and "what you want to leave behind you's" and of course "the joy and love I wanted to give and receive" the trouble is they keep going around so fast that you don't have much time to know whether you're coming or going. Well, that's a pretty physical explanation ..isn't it? Well how about this one; Acting is basically a living system. It's like being part of an Interactive Movie a portion of your time is spent trying to understand what the Hell is going on and what script you're in. The rest of the time you're trying to pick up the skills you need to do the things the script says you're supposed to do.

That's not exactly the sort of answers I was looking for. It's just a wee bit simplistic, don't you think? I had it more in mind that...Well, Clint, you can't sit in a class and master it. Even if you did learn everything that was written or said and graduate cum loud, you would've missed it, because acting is something you must DO. And do effectively, with excellence, every time. And don't be callin' yourself a master just because you've done lots of walk-ons, or been an extra in a lot of movies, done lots of little theater, sung and danced on Sixth Street, been on access TV and become busy, busy, looking like an Actor. That's an actor without any sense. Isn't that language a little strong? What I'm saying is, that's action without the framework of education. The actor has no tradition to call upon, no heritage to hold onto and no luxury of knowing why some things seem to work better than others, and no hope whatever of sustaining a level of excellence. Can you dig it, Clint?

The poor actor hasn't got a clue! I guess I see what you're trying to say, that life is where acting comes from and acting feeds your life, which creates a more cultured actor, which creates a better life. And "the music goes round and round, whoa-a, whoa-a." I think I get it!

Well, good for you, Clint. But the young students, the young people also have no clue as to where this activity called Acting fits into the larger picture of life. Most of us have one or two of these aspects fairly functioning. Others are attractive enough, physically, to be cast into various roles often.. That's really sad. When you're hot, you're hot, but when you're not, all the yes men run for cover and you're left out in the cold. You've gotta have a rock sold confidence that only a firm study of this craft and its laws and methods will bring. And you're gonna need an expanded belief system to allow this very exacting profession to become integrated into a fully functioning, well-rounded life. To do that, you must become unshakable in your certainty about the mechanics and heART of acting.

..Wow!...You sure said a mouthful there, Granny! I got a million of 'em, Clint, a million of 'em.

Can we wrap it up pretty soon? Tell me, don't you think we're making progress with all our technology? Progress? You know, when they rediscovered reading and writing, that's probably what they said to the people, coming out of the Dark Ages. From my viewpoint, a downward spiral's been going on for decades. Down toward what, exactly?

Well, Clint, old rider of the purple sage, it's of course down toward the lowest common denominator of taste and behavior. Trends, styles and polls replaced authenticity. Pundits and news yakkers replaced any thoughtful use of your own mind, don't you know.

Current pop opinions replaced a person's own self esteem, and the media dictated how people should look, act and think. Hell, the movie stars were on the same level as Nobel Prize winners, popes and philosophers. Those people who might have had something important to say were reduced to sound bites or eight minutes tops on the Tonight Show. We don't expend any energy to research something on our own, that's why we have trouble living with our own decisions about issues and people in our lives. Okay, I can tell by your glazed eyes that I'd better wrap it up and I'll be as gentle as I can... ART IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE SOUL, BUT IN A MACHINE WORLD, THE LEFT-BRAIN MIND IS KING, AND THE SOUL REALLY NEED NEVER SPEAK AGAIN. That's great stuff! Can I quote you?

You just did, stupid. Bottom line, Mrs. O'Reilly, for the fans, what do you suggest we do?

Come to the GATHERING! That will be the free introduction to the class to end all classes. It's about re-awakening the artist within so that he never goes to sleep again, and how to never be ashamed of your power and responsibility. It really sounds like you're saying the actor is the man of the hour, and if they would really get their act together, they have as much responsibility to how this world turns out as any brain surgeon. For once you're right, Clint. They both can have an immediate impact, either to create a disaster, or "something wonderful". Boy, you sure sold me! I'll be at the Gathering, for sure, and I'm nominating you as Teacher of the Year! Aw, I won't be teaching the course, you fool! I'm sending one of Ireland's favorite sons- Patrick McDuffy O'Toole Delony, intimate friend of hobbits and elves, who hobnobs with astronauts, politicians and celebrities. A Teacher of Teachers, with never a dull moment. O'Toole, O'Delony.. oh, who the heck is he?

He's my private instructor. He's been teaching me for years. I've got all his tapes, don't you know. You just be there, sonny boy, for the class to end all classes with a teacher that's out of this world.

JERRY DELONY is a professional actor, highly qualified acting teacher and communications specialist who possesses an impressive array of professional experience and training and is passionately dedicated to the principles of acting.

Mr. Delony's unique vision encompasses not only acting for film,stage and television but also as applied to the field of communication for success and fulfillment in both business and personal life. His extensive background is solidly founded upon impeccable credentials in academic training in the Arts as well as years of experience as a professional actor and acting coach working alongside some of the most eminent actors and teachers in America.

The following is a short summary of his qualifications:

  • Professional association with such notables as Lee J. Cobb, Grant Williams, Uta Hagen, Eric Morris, Ivan Markota, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg
  • Consultant to the Media departments of the University of Texas, Columbia, UCLA and Huston-Tillotson College
  • MFA in Radio, Television, Film and Theater/ University of Houston.
  • Extensive film and television in New York City and Hollywood (Resume on request)

WHILE IN HOLLYWOOD

  • worked as Line Coach at the old MGM Studios.
  • Casting at 20th Century Fox with independant casting director Marvin Paige --Taught Film Acting at theVan Mar Academy on Melrose
  • Established A.C.T.S. The Actors Cooperative Television Showcase
  • Co-Founded The Acting showcase in Burbank accross street from the Tonight Show with Walter Rainey,Jason Miller (Pulitzer and Tony award winner for "That Championship Season") and Beverly Long(Commercial Casting)

WHILE IN AUSTIN

  • Established the Texas Actors Showcase--Austin, Texas
  • Established the Applied Acting Center--Austin, Texas specializing in the principles of acting applied to modern business relationships. Training of personnel at JC Penny, Brackenridge Hospital and Apple Computer

Here are some excerpts from some of Mr. Delony's observations on acting in the modern age:

"We live in an age in which the arts have become an endangered species. Being very familiar with the high and low points in entertainment history helped me to identify some major factors involved in producing the high periods of creativity and to isolate the key elements being overlooked, which have contributed to the declining quality of music, stage, television and film today. One major missing element is the understanding of what performance really means; and the passion, dedication and commitment needed to create emotional impact. Another is the development of Star Quality...without understanding their heritage or being fully trained and given a support network to nurture their development, where will future Stars come from?..."

"An exciting journey begins with but a single step, and a great journey awaits all who take that step toward personal growth. This new approach would give an ailing entertainment industry a new transfusion of energy and return it to it's earlier state of focus and vitality. This would cause a transformation not only in the newly created actors, directors and writers, but also of the worldwide audience they now reach...We can look forward to a change in current attitudes of apathy, cynicism and hostility to ones of hope, confidence and productive cooperation. Then we as actors would be shaping a kinder and saner life for all mankind...The higher calling of this craft will lift what performers do out of the category of a mere job into that brighter arena of inspiration where we function at our best and where we can once again be proud to be ACTORS".

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